When eight-year old Mackenzie was nearly incapacitated by pediatric migraines, she became increasingly grouchy and was having trouble categorizing and remembering what she had read.
Mackenzie’s pediatrician referred her to Pediatric Neurologist and Sleep Medicine Specialist, Dr. Kevin Joseph. After several treatments provided only partial relief, Dr. Joseph recommended polysomnography, an overnight sleep study, at Valley’s Pediatric Sleep Center where Mackenzie’s symptoms were explained.
Mackenzie was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). She now sleeps using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine which helps push air into her lungs.
Mackenzie’s mother, Niki, explains her daughter’s dramatic recovery. “Mackenzie’s academics have soared. She’s always happy now—it’s like her light has switched on. Right from the start, she slept great with the CPAP machine, nine hours on average: She takes total responsibility for using and maintaining it and hasn’t missed one night. Early on she was so excited when she told me, ‘Mommy, I dreamed last night!’ Mackenzie’s lack of deep sleep had stolen her dreams—but now Mackenzie has her dreams back.”
About OSA and Sleep-deprived Children
OSA is a complex physiological phenomenon where decreased airway muscle tone and/or large tonsils obstruct and close the airway. To resolve the lack of air, the brain interrupts sleep by arousing the patient and opening the airway again.
Untreated pediatric sleep disorders are associated with ADHD, childhood obesity, learning difficulties, behavior problems, slow growth problems, bed-wetting and sleep-walking.
Sleep-deprived children often show signs of headaches, irritability, inattentiveness and hyperactivity (ADHD). The underlying sleep issue is often overlooked or not recognized. About 25% of children with ADHD are suspected of having OSA. Treat the OSA and they may need less or no medication! If you suspect your child is sleep-deprived, please contact your primary care physician.